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SOCORRO -- March 4, 2003 New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron has officially declared Saturday, March 29, as "New Mexico Tech Rugby Football Club Day" throughout the state, in recognition of the club's 30-year record of athletic achievement and international goodwill.

The occasion will be observed on that day with a 12:45 p.m. presentation of the official decree, just before the afternoon kickoff of New Mexico Tech's first home match of the spring rugby season, against perennial rivals Brujos RFC of Albuquerque. New Mexico Tech RFC's humble origins hark back to the organizing efforts of former Tech students and ruggers Timothy Franklin and Hans Waight Paap in 1973.

The rugby club at New Mexico Tech to date remains a charter member of the Rio Grande Rugby Football Union, which was established in 1974; and, Tech Rugby Club members have continued to play fall and spring seasons ever since the union's inception. In 1998, the New Mexico Tech rugby team undertook a playing tour of the British nation of Wales, winning one out of three matches, with a victory against the North Wales Under 19-year-old All Stars.

Last year, the Tech rugby club toured Ireland, again achieving the same win-loss record with a triumph over a team from Trinity College Dublin, the oldest continuous rugby club in
the world.

Planning continues for other related events to commemorate the March 29 proclamation of "New Mexico Tech Rugby Football Club Day." Those interested in becoming involved are asked to contact New Mexico Tech rugby director e-mail Dave Wheelock or call (505) 835-5131for more information.

-NMT-